One-time Santa Monica High baseball star Rick Monday has been honored many times as an American hero for saving the United States flag from being burned in the Dodger Stadium outfield in 1976.
The latest honor came earlier this month when Monday and his wife, Barbalee, joined President Bush and The First Lady at the White House as part of “Salute To Baseball – America’s Pastime.”
Monday coached third base in a Little League game on the White House lawn that day. He and Barbalee were then guests of President and Laura Bush at a dinner in the White House.
Monday, currently a Dodger broadcaster, was playing for the Chicago Cubs against the Dodgers on April 25, 1976 when two protestors attempted to burn the U.S. flag in the middle of a game. But Monday swiped the flag before they were successful.
The event has been ranked among the 100 greatest moments in baseball history.
After Monday starred at Samohi he attended Arizona State and became the first selection in the first-ever major league baseball draft. He eventually played for the Dodgers.
“In my mind, what the protestors were trying to do was wrong,” said Monday. “It was wrong 32 years ago and it is still wrong today. There is no place for it.”